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Steepest downhill grade you have excavated

Discussion in 'Hardscaping' started by xtreem3d, Oct 11, 2013.

  1. xtreem3d

    xtreem3d LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 801

    Picture a backyard sloping down to a woodline. This is the steepest grade I have ever quoted. What are some of the steepest you guys have gotten an excavator or skid steer on ? I am guessing this might be close to 40-45 degrees
  2. LWG

    LWG LawnSite Member
    Messages: 88

    About 40 degrees. You will damage your engine through oil starvation sooner than you'll roll over downhill. I went up the same slope, but with a very heavy rockhound in place of the bucket. It was safe, but it sure as heck was exciting.

    I had a guy with a dozer come in to do most of the rough work. They are designed for much steeper slopes than most skidsteers, and are designed so that oil starvation is rarely a problem.
  3. DVS Hardscaper

    DVS Hardscaper LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,602

    Kinda a vague question.

    "Grade" or even "grading" is a broad term. That's like when people call and say "umm yeah I want some landscaping done", when really they want seed sown and mulched with straw.

    So for this slope, are you cutting or filling?

    So many scenarios. If you're cutting - then you simply carve out a bench for a small to mid size excavator to work off of. Once you have a bench - the rest is easy. I have a picture of this somewhere on my phone.

    Access is also a determining factor in what can and can't be done. We once has a steep slope where the machine had to enter from the very bottom and pull itself up the slope. And we also had a slope where we could only access from the top. We had a customer decide he wanted more work down below the wall after we built it. I said "we can not get the machine on the slope safely". He got irritated and said "well, you cut this out without any problem". I replied "that's right, but I did certain things to make it happen, now that the wall is in place, I can't do what I had done before".

    So many scenarios.
  4. xtreem3d

    xtreem3d LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 801

    Am cutting a ledge for the base of a wall. have a tilt tach on my track machine so I could be at 40 degrees and have the bucket level to start cutting. (picture machine sideways on the slope) I am actually worried about oil starvation until I get the ledge cut in. I will have to look at the property more closely but as of right now I can't picture an excavator being able to make it to the ledge . Maybe I'm being too cautious. I suppose you could lower the boom and have it "support" you as you made your down to the ledge. The 90 degree right turn onto the ledge might freak me out on that slope...basically why I am asking what has really been done

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